From The Backbench

Budget debate: Help parents of lower income families with digital literacy, says NMP

NMP Shahira Abdullah said parents from low-income households may not know how to support their children's online activities.
NMP Shahira Abdullah said parents from low-income households may not know how to support their children's online activities.PHOTO: GOV.SG

Nominated MP Shahira Abdullah

Help parents of lower income families with digital literacy

With the world becoming increasingly hyper-connected, Dr Shahira said there is a need for people to be digitally literate and also aware of cyber security risks.

She noted that while there is a programme to teach children safe online behaviour, parents from low-income households may not know how to support their children's online activities.

Dr Shahira suggested that the Ministry of Communications and Information partner the Education Ministry in offering its national digital literacy programme to such parents.


MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling. PHOTO: GOV.SG

Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson)

Help local tech firms get 'big breaks'

Ms Tin asked if it is possible to favour deserving local tech companies over big brand names in certain public tenders, noting that such opportunities can be the "big break" companies are looking for to build their credibility.

She said local companies face considerable challenges when venturing overseas on their own, without a sizeable project under their belt here that they can add to their credentials.

The companies could then become stuck in a vicious cycle, where they are pressured to give discounts that are unsustainable in the long run, she added.


Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Edward Chia. PHOTO: GOV.SG

Edward Chia (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC)

Improve environmental sustainabilty efforts in parcel deliveries

As more consumers turn to e-commerce, Mr Chia asked if more could be done to ensure an environmentally sustainable parcel collection and delivery process.

He suggested integrating more blue recycling bins in estates, to cater to a higher volume of packaging waste.

Parcel deliveries data could also be shared with public waste collection agencies, so firms can better calibrate when to remove the blue bins and maximise their efficiencies, said Mr Chia.


Jurong GRC MP Xie Yao Quan. PHOTO: GOV.SG

Xie Yao Quan (Jurong GRC)

Lead the world in the flow of data across borders

With data poised to become the most valuable resource here, there is a huge opportunity for Singapore to be a thought leader and a trusted hub for "secure seamless cross border data flows", said Mr Xie.

He asked for an update on the Ministry for Communications and Information's work on mechanisms for cross border data flows that could eventually drive business innovation.

Mr Xie also asked for an update on the ministry's work on frameworks for data management, including data categorisation and controls, that can serve as a "common language" to all in the digital economy.